I’m such a nerd for loving this, but I’m excited to celebrate International Friend Day! I saw some of my best friends last week while I was in Raleigh but I’ll be seeing a couple of my nearest and dearest friends later today, as I’m a member of my cousin’s wedding party. Yes, my cousin is getting married on a Sunday, which worked a lot better for most of our schedules (especially the bride and groom’s).
We often think about our friends when it comes to birthdays, holidays, weddings, funerals, and tough times. There will always be “occasional” friends, those friends that are there for highlights and low points but not much else in between. But the strongest bonds are formed while sharing the mundane and predictable. Our lives aren’t a series of consecutive peaks and valleys (and if that’s what you’re experiencing, you have my sympathy: that sound exhausting).
Those “everyday” friendships are so special, because these are the people that know us best and have shown that they want to be in our lives. But how many of us regularly put forth the effort to nurture these relationships? After all, friends are the family that we’re choosing for ourselves: are we proactively maintaining those bonds? Every friendship doesn’t require constant maintenance, but we should be mindful of what it takes to remain actively involved in one another’s lives and supportive.
Maintenance can consist of many things, and it doesn’t have to feel like “work”. Perhaps that means that we send “just because” gifts, or offer to assist with a task before our friends ask for help, heap some praise on our friends to let them know how much they mean to us, etc. If you need ideas, check out The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Though it’s written with spouses in mind, we can use the principles for showing love to our friends in a love “language” that our friends recognize and appreciate.
We want our friends to know that they can count on us for encouragement, love and support. We want to make it clear to each other that we’re committed to caring for one another. This is what true friendship is all about.
That’s it for today, friends! I’ll chat with you all tomorrow, and don’t forget to spread some love on this International Friend Day!